The official position of regime's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was declared. The regime expressed its approval to attend a consultative meeting in Moscow to prepare for Syrian negotiations without intermediaries.
Syria announced its willingness to participate in a preliminary consultative meeting that includes a delegation from the government and a delegation from the opposition. Russia seeks to hold the meeting in order to reach a consensus on holding a conference for dialogue between Syrians themselves (without any external intervention) to solve the four-year crisis in the country.
I really do not know whether this is the actual goal of the recent Russian efforts to find a political solution to end the destruction of Syrian society and infrastructure. Assad's Foreign Ministry is ready to participate in a preliminary consultative meeting, contrary to what the observer understands from the Russian statements and the statements of opposition parties and figures who met the Russians, as their statements indicated that the goal is to apply the Geneva document – the only document to have an international consensus on its main provisions.
The agreement to hold a dialogue between Syrians themselves without external interference reminds me of the dialogues Lebanese Hezbollah proposed to other Lebanese parties to discuss the issue of Hezbollah's weapons (making it more powerful than the Lebanese state itself). Hezbollah called on civil parties which suffer from assassination and murder to discuss the subject of its weapon capacity, capable of exterminating them all. If Assad's regime wishes to discuss the Syrian issue without the intervention of the United Nations and the international community, it should hold the dialogue with those carrying weapons in Syria, in order for the dialogue to be balanced. Meaning, it should enter a dialogue with al-Baghdadi and al-Golani, not with the political groups whose leaders are already detained or with figures in self-imposed exile to escape from prison and criminalisation. The Syrian-Syrian dialogue, which the regime wants without the intervention of the international community and the Arab League, is a dialogue between an armed man and his hostages. The opposition negotiators will have only two options, to surrender or to die.
Thus, even though I believe that a political solution to the tragedy Syria experiences (under the destructive extremism of ISIS and Assad's regime), is the best solution capable of mobilising Syrians against the monster of extremism and terrorism, I still believe that this solution would not be possible without an active intervention from the international community. This would help to rein in the hellish military machine of the Assad regime, and to enable all civil forces and Syrian democracy to overcome extremists, providing legitimate hope to the Syrians – a hope with the possibility of co-existence, in a country free from the regime's death barrels and torture cells, as well as from the swords and knives of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer